The Hierophant Picture

Please note: The presentation of this work is offered directly as a way of sharing ‘a work in progress’. Further developments, changes, and additions will most certainly occur in the future. The development of the Major Arcana is based heavily upon the works of Aleister Crowley in ‘The Book of Thoth’, and the artworks by Lady Frieda Harris.

The Hierophant

The Hierophant is restraint and guardian of secrets. He is the Taurus labor of slow progression. He is the keeper of Tradition with a capital ‘T’.
He is the voice of marble myths and the wonder and whisper of museums. He is the silence that watches stories of all generations, over and over again. The Hierophant is a Legominism. Our costumes may have changed, but has the essence of our stories really changed?

The Hierophant is Saturn… and through the cycle of time, death will fall at his feet before rising again with life. Joy and sorrow are but his hours…and throughout it all, the Hierophant observes as witness. All are locked behind his eyes, and all who request his answer, must first ask the right question. All of us have this; knowledge is kept only by degree. It lies in all of us…unconscious, blind, and unaware of its imperative desire for a sharing of honesty that may help humanity grow. Alas, unfortunately most of us die without really touching or sharing our truths with another who is often all too willing to listen. When we meet a stranger, what may they share that could change our lives…what is momentarily glimpsed before passing by…what stories are locked within our hearts. Perhaps the “mysterious, even sinister” expression on the Hierophants face, where “he seems to be enjoying a very secret joke at somebody’s expense” eludes to this observation.

There is an unrelenting claustrophobia of entrapment within a mechanical universe that many a generation has spent in its quest for understanding. Blood, sweat, and tears have been wrung from many who have beat themselves against the Hierophants walls…howling like children demanding answers without every reflecting quietly or searching for the connections that may aid their solace. There is always someone else to blame, and always a reason to create a war in the name of misunderstanding. All the while ‘the Hierophant’ silently watches, observes, and waits. Here is a maturity that perceives the nature of time differently, and a realization that everything will have its time for Enlightenment.

The overall composition of The Hierophant is Geometric, especially that of his temple, which is of cubic proportions. Like an iconic hieroglyphic Egyptian deity, he stands poised like an unmovable etching on ancient walls. Surrounding him in each quadrant are four Tri-grams from the I-Ching. They naturally represent the four elements;. They are: top right: ‘Kun’: Air / bottom right: ‘Yi’: Fire / bottom left: ‘Kon’: Earth / upper left: ‘Kam’: Water. Guarding the Hierophants’ temple are two Assyrian Lamassu Winged Bulls which are beneficient protective female deities that are hybrid combinations of Bull, Lion and Human forms. Traditionally, Lamassu were Guardians of Sacred places, and here, they also become symbolic representations of the nature of Taurus.

In one hand he holds a Mask, an in the other, the Wand. The Mask reflects the hidden nature of ‘the Quest’ and the need for Honesty upon the Spiritual Paths undertaking. Many misleading paths, deceits, and disguises test the traveler who seeks the path of Illumination; what motives fuel your course and desire for such Knowledge.

If we look at the origins of the word ‘Hiero’, it translates in meaning as ‘Sacred’ and ‘
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